Maj. Gen. Augustus L. (Leon) Collins, the adjutant general of Mississippi, will retire from the Mississippi National Guard, effective Aug. 31. Brig. Gen. Janson D. (Durr) Boyles will take over the position of adjutant general on Sept. 1.
Collins was appointed as the adjutant general in 2012, by Gov. Phil Bryant. He currently oversees the Mississippi Military Department and serves as commander of the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard. The Booneville native ends his time in uniform with 35 years of service.
Collins’ career began in March 1977 as a private with the Mississippi Army National Guard’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment. In July 1980, he completed Officer Candidate School and served in command and staff positions on the company, battalion, and brigade levels. He also served on the adjutant general’s primary staff as a traditional and active Guard – Reserve Soldier.
Collins served on active duty in Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and commanded the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004–2006. It was the largest mobilization of Mississippi troops since World War II. He was promoted to brigadier general on May 10, 2005 in Iraq, making him the first African American to attain the rank of general officer in the history of the Mississippi National Guard. He was promoted to his present rank following his appointment as adjutant general in 2012.
Boyles’ career began in 1982 and he has 34 years of commissioned service. In 2005, he served as the Executive Officer for the 168th Engineer Group in the Mississippi National Guard during Hurricane Katrina recovery and rebuilding efforts.
In 2009, Boyles served in Afghanistan with the 168th Engineer Brigade of the Mississippi National Guard. Recently, he has served 2015-2016 in Kosovo as Chief of Staff of KFOR Forces, a NATO Division deployed as part of Operation Joint Guardian.
A native of Jackson, Boyles graduated from Mississippi State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1982 and in 2005 he received his Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Boyles and his wife, Robin, have two adult sons and attend Christ United Methodist Church.
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